April 23, 2013

Whatever Happened to Arbor Day?

“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

What ever happened to Arbor Day?

I was sitting here watching a bird in the tree out front, and beside my window—it reminded me of a time, some so many years ago…when I was asked to be the caregiver for a tree.

It was Arbor Day, you see—I think the year was maybe, 1977…and, it was quite a sleepless night before, if I can recall. My heart was filled with so much anticipation and excitement—I kept thinking, “How big will it grow?” and “Will it have flat broad leaves or bushy prickly pine cones?” and, “Will the birds maybe make it their home?”

I had thought of each and every possible scenario—it was the first time I remember dreaming of a new life’s potential.

And when we all arrived to school that next day, not even a carton of ice cold chocolate milk could keep hold of our attention. For, we all knew very soon, we would be carrying home and caring for a brand new baby tree.

Oh, that bus ride home was the very longest. I held that new sapling carefully in my lap, checking it every so often again—and just to make so absolutely sure, that the paper towel was still adequately wet.

And racing up the driveway, in those days it was still a quite wobbly gravel. I burst into the house with this new life in hands, and pleaded with my Mom to please get the shovel.

I remember planting that tree. My parents indulged my little girl silliness, by spending at least a full extra hour’s time making sure that this little guy would be placed in ‘just the right spot’…not too close to the house, you see…but close enough to enjoy it, still.

We finally planted that tree, and each day I raced home to see if it had grown. And though, in those days growing seemed to take forever—these days, I see my trees stands easily over 40 feet tall.

And each time I come back to say ‘hello’ to my tree—I think back to the magic of that day.

Maybe, every day should be Arbor Day? And perhaps not one of those days just ‘set aside.’ And, instead of letting our little ones come home to their video games—maybe just once, have a tree waiting for them instead?

Just a thought, you know… my mindless ramblings of the day.

Maybe, that’s why I love my trees so very much and always will.

Bonus Video: It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown

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 Ed: Kate Bartolotta

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